2019 Provost's Lecture Series
February 8: Richard Prum
The Evolution of Beauty: Darwin's
Really Dangerous Idea
Co-Sponsors: Department of Ecology and Evolution, Living World Lecture/Science Open Nights
Abstract: Mate choice in animals is commonly thought to select for the evolution of honest signals that indicate objective information about mate quality. This seminar will explore the authentically Darwinian alternative that animals select their mates based on their subjective preferences– i.e. what they like. Consequently, ornaments are neither honest, nor manipulative; they are merely beautiful. This aesthetic perspective on evolutionary process places the subjective experience of animals at the center of scientific explanation, and may provide insight into change aesthetic marketplaces for fine art, music, and commercial arts.
Friday, February 8, 7:30 pm, Earth and Space Sciences, Lecture Theater 001